Are You Listening? – What your kids would like to tell you

Outside of photography I have the opportunity to talk to several teenagers.  I was surprised this month at some of the things each of these teens had in common.  I wanted to share them with you because it helped me see what I needed to talk to my teens about.

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Teen #1

This first teen and his family is going to be moving out of state in the next few months.  He told me that he doesn’t want to move.  He doesn’t want to leave his friends, school and all of the things he knows.  He said, “My dad said he prayed about it and feels that this is the right thing for their family to do but I still don’t want to go.”  Now, he comes from a very good family.  They are very close so I don’t want you to think this is a dysfunctional family.  I asked him if he had taken the time to talk to his dad about his feelings.  He said, “Yes, but I just keep getting told that everything will be OK.”  The reality is that everything probably will be OK.  However, he wasn’t feeling that way.

Teen #2

This next teen is in a situation where his parents are going to be getting a divorce.  His mom has moved to another state and he is living with his dad.  I asked him how he was feeling about the situation.  He just shrugged his shoulders and said “I don’t know.”  I followed up with other questions and I soon realized that as tears began to appear that he didn’t want to share his feelings.  I asked him if he has shared his feelings with anyone.  He just shook his head to the negative.  I could see that he was severely hurting inside because of his family situation and he was hurting alone.

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Teen #3

This last teen will be of dating age soon.  She is a very happy and outgoing individual.  She shared that she is really worried that there wont be any boys ask her out on dates because maybe she isn’t very pretty (which is not true).  She also shared that she would like to talk to her mom more about things but her mom is very busy and doesn’t have a lot of time.

Each of these teens come from great homes and great families.  So I asked myself, what are my kids feeling and are they wanting to talk to me about things?  So I took the time to talk to my only daughter who will start Jr. High school.  I asked her if she was excited or nervous.  She said a little bit of both.  I asked first what she was excited about.  She said she was excited to take band and make new friends.  I asked her what she was nervous about.  She said she was worried that the popular girls were going to make fun of her.  We continued to have a great talk about what she was feeling.  I am so glad I took the time to really talk.